The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has said the $3bn loan being sought by the Federal Government from the World Bank would be deployed for reforms in the power sector.
She said this during an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings holding in Washington DC, United States.
Ahmed, who is leading the Federal Government’s delegation to the meeting said she would be holding further discussions with the management of the Bank to present how the fund would be disbursed for the project.
She said based on the plan of the Federal Government for the power sector, the loan would be used for the development of transmission and distribution networks to enhance the delivery of electricity.
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Ahmed also said the loan would be used in addressing some of the challenges that the country is currently facing in the power sector.
She said, “There is a proposed $2.5bn to $3bn facility for the power sector development programme in Nigeria and this will include development of the transmission networks and the distribution networks as well as removing the challenges that we currently have now in the electricity sector.
“We are going to have a full meeting to discuss the power sector recovery programme and back home we have been working a great deal with the World Bank to design how this programme will be implemented.
“So we have an opportunity now to have a direct meeting with the leadership of the bank and to tell them the plan we have and how much we need from one to five years.”
The finance minister explained that the government would be pushing for the disbursement of the $3bn facility in two tranches of $1.5bn each.
When asked to comment on concerns being raised by the IMF about Nigeria’s debt which stands at N25.7tn the finance minister insists that Nigeria does not have a debt problem.
She said what the government needed to do is to increase its revenue-generating capacity in order to boost the revenue to about 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.
She said with Nigeria’s current revenue to GDP ratio standing at just 19 per cent, it’s underperformance is significantly straining the government’s ability to service its debt obligation.
The minister said, “Nigeria does not have a debt problem. What we have is a revenue problem.
“Our revenue to GDP is still one of the lowest among countries that are comparable to us. It’s about 19 per cent of GDP and what the World Bank and IMF recommended is about 50 per cent of GDP for countries that are our size. We are not there yet. What we have is a revenue problem.
“The underperformance of our revenue is causing a significant strain in our ability to service debt and to service government day-to-day recurrent expenditure and that is why all the work we are doing at the ministry of finance is concentrating on driving the increase in revenue.”
When asked why the Federal Government decided to increase the revenue projection in the 2020 budget to N8.9tn at a time when government revenue performance is less than 60 per cent, she said a lot of measures are being put in place to correct the anomaly.
Royal Split: Prince Harry expresses great sadness
Britain’s Prince Harry expressed “great sadness” on Sunday at the way he and his wife Meghan had to give up their royal titles as part of separation settlement with the Queen.
“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” Harry said in his first remarks on Saturday’s historic agreement, made during a public address and posted on the couple’s Instagram account.
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” he told supporters of his Africa-based charity for youngsters with HIV at an event in London.
The settlement stripped Harry and Meghan of public funding and required them to repay £2.4 million ($3.1 million) of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.
Harry was also forced to give up the military titles and patronages he was awarded after serving two tours in Afghanistan with the British Army.
But Harry said he felt “utmost respect” for Queen Elizabeth II.
“It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.”
“I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and me over the last few months.”
He also hinted at some trepidation at starting a new life away from his royal home. He and Meghan will spend some time in Canada before deciding whether to move to the United States or another country.
“We are taking a leap of faith — thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step,” he said.
President Buhari reveals why he joined Politics
President Buhari finally reveals why he joined politics after his release from prison President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed why he joined partisan politics after he was released from prison over thirty years ago. He said he joined politics because of his integrity.
Will Smith and Martins Lawrence named Honorary police officers by Miami City Police Force
Hollywood actors, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, ahead of the release of the new ‘Bad Boys for Life’ movie, were on Sunday honored by the Miami City Police Force for their outstanding contribution to the growth of the entertainment industry in Miami.
Smith has lived and worked in Miami for almost half a century, and the Bad Boys movie Franchise has always been shot in Miami, hence the Miami city police force thought it wise to celebrate and honor Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and handed them ‘keys to the city’ plaque and Miami police force badges while also granting them honorary police officer titles, roles they both played in the Bad Boys film.
Smith took to Instagram to celebrate the achievement .
“Been rockin’ with Miami for over 25 years and today me and @martinlawrence got the keys to the city and were officially made honorary Miami Police officers!! Big thanx @francisxsuarez and @pitbull (happy BDay) for setting us up! #badboysforlife,” the 51-year-old actor shared on Instagram alongside a series of photos and videos of the two men receiving their keys.
In one of the videos, the official who presented Smith, 51, and Lawrence, 54, with the honor also announced that Jan. 12 would be celebrated as the “Bad Boys for Life” day in the city of Miami, which was met by cheers from the crowd.